Pedestrians imperiled at 11th & Kitsap Way

The in basket: Nancy Danaher wrote in June 16 to say, “A couple of weeks ago while traveling south on Kitsap Way at about 7 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m., we nearly witnessed a horrific accident.

“When a person needs to cross Kitsap Way at 11th Street in Bremerton, a pedestrian light gives them the OK and the two right lanes heading south get the red light.

Now, if you are coming around that curve at too high a speed or not paying attention at all, you are believing you have a green light to cruise through. Not the case when someone needs to cross the street.  Two times that same evening someone was almost hit by vehicles because they did not stop at the red light.

“Yesterday afternoon it happened again,” Nancy said. “I was headed northwest on Kitsap Way (at) the red light. A gal was crossing and had the pedestrian light and around the corner comes a large pickup truck and barrels through what to him would have been a red light!.  Thank goodness the girl was still walking in our two lanes.

“How can vehicles be forewarned that the light around the curve is RED?” Nancy asked.

The out basket: I heard back from both Tom Knuckey and Jerry Hauth of Bremerton’s street engineers about this and it turns out that intersection is due some pedestrians improvements, part of a grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council

Tom said, “This intersection is included in a Bremerton Crosswalk Improvements project, scheduled for design this year, and construction in 2016,  We’re currently coordinating with a consultant for the design, and have brought this concern to their attention as they develop a  list of improvements to be constructed.

“Although there have been no accidents involving pedestrians at this location, and although the sight distance exceeds (federal) minimums, we are still concerned about it, as Nancy is.  We will look at all options, including additional advance warning signage.

“In the meantime, we have requested additional enforcement by our police department. We also get feedback from our officers that helps us with designing the safety improvements.  Nancy’s input was very much appreciated and will also become part of the project file.

Jerry, successor to Gunnar Fridriksson, who left the city to go to work for Clark County this spring, adds, “I don’t know what may come of this design process. But we can certainly consider (or include) some advanced warning if it is needed.

“I have some reservations about the benefit of an advanced warning on this site,” he said. “As I drive through it, at the speed limit, it appears to me that there is adequate time to come to a controlled stop (as needed). Also, as I understand the situation that prompted this concern, a truck had run a red light. Bad things can happen when people run red lights and I question if a warning would have changed any of that.”



2 thoughts on “Pedestrians imperiled at 11th & Kitsap Way

  1. It was years ago, on a proverbial dark-and-stormy-night, that I too witnessed a near accident with a pedestrian crossing at this intersection. My impression, which has been reinforced by other driver behavior north of this intersection, is that locals do not even consider that they may have to stop at the signal when southbound on Kitsap Way. A red light southbound so rarely happens that locals have just tuned out the possibility that it might happen, and don’t even monitor the traffic signals.

    My suggestion would be to put the emphasis on warning lights directly associated with the crosswalk, perhaps like the in-pavement flashers in Port Orchard. That would have the benefit of raising awareness of the crosswalk, even among drivers in the other lanes of the intersection.

  2. We lived on Marine Drive for a lot of years so I am familiar with this intersection. One time, I almost did not stop for the red light. It seems to me the reason is that people drive down that section of street many times and never need to stop so the are not paying attention and don’t even see the red light.

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